PM announces no shopping Monday; 10-hour curfew begins Tuesday
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet gave an update on St Lucia's approach to the coronavirus pandemic Sunday, April 5, 2020, announcing that the 24-hour curfew will be reduced to a 10-hour curfew on Tuesday at 5 am, where a police-enforced zoning system will also be introduced.
The prime minister had previously announced that persons would be able to shop at bakeries from 3 am to 1 pm and at mini-marts from 6 am to 12 noon on Monday, April 6.
In his latest address, Prime Minister Chastanet said that the 24-hour curfew remains for Monday. Bakeries are able to bake and deliver bread but no one can come and purchase directly.
Supermarkets, mini-marts, distributors of food items, gas stations and cooking gas sellers are allowed to open only to restock shelves on Monday. No one can purchase from any of these providers on Monday.
As such, no minibus or transport will operate except for essential services and for restocking the food industry.
The prohibition on the sale of alcohol will also continue during the 10-hour curfew.
On Tuesday, the prime minister said we go back to SI-44 (Statutory Instrument 44) whereby the curfew will shift from 24-hours to a 10-hour curfew from 7 pm to 5 am.
This 10-hour curfew will begin at 5 am Tuesday and last through Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.
“We are going to allow all services provided in SI-44 – so basically allow the services to operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday will be able to operate from 7 to 4 pm. They will be closed on Friday, which is Good Friday. They will also be closed on Sunday which is Easter Sunday.”
During the 10-hour curfew, customers will be encouraged to shop with only two persons per family within their own communities.
The PM stated that the country will be zoned during this curfew and people will be required to stay within their zones. Details on zoning will be provided on Monday, April 6.
Private vehicles will be allowed to carry only two people during the 10-hour curfew.
Police will be monitoring and enforcing the zones. They will be doing road checks and checking driver's licenses to see if people are remaining in their zones.
Police will also be patrolling supermarkets once they open to ensure social distancing and health protocols are being followed.
Businesses are expected to put markings in place to demarcate proper social distancing on Monday, April 6.
The prime minister said he was substantially confident, after consultations, that the 24-hour curfew can be reduced, noting that the past week has given the Ministry of Health the opportunity to get themselves organized and to have a better assessment of where we're going.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George said: "The period of shutdown has provided the Ministry of Health with a needed window of time to take intense and concentrated efforts on contact tracing associated with our confirmed cases currently in care."